Monthly News Nov 09 by luckboy

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November 2009

Dear Members
Seafarer centres play a key role in the provision of welfare services and facilities for seafarers around the world. In recognition of this we are now devoting a section of the monthly update to news from seafarer centres (see pages 6-7). The centres face a wide range of challenges as they struggle to find funds to keep going and look for innovative ways to ensure seafarers keep visiting. I have just returned from a successful workshop in Hong Kong organised by ICMA and the ITF Seafarers Trust with ten of the most effective seafarers’ centres in the world. The workshop looked at what made these centres successful and how they are adapting to the changing welfare needs of seafarers. The detailed outcomes of the workshop will be published on the ICMA website in early 2010 and we will be working with them and other partners to see how we can disseminate information on best practice in this area. You will see that the next AGM is going to be in Barcelona from 23 to 26 March 2010. Even if you are not a member you are welcome to join us as we will be discussing the implementation of the MLC 2006 and its impact on seafarers’ welfare. Further details will follow next month.
Best regards

Projects Updates Members’ News 2 2-5

News from Seafarers’ Centres 6-7 Upcoming Events 5 Industry News 8-10

Roger Harris

Skype: icsw_roger.harris icsw_rosemary.hendry

Next year’s AGM will be held in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday 23 March to Friday 26 March 2010. We are in the process of finalizing details and will be sending out invitations and fuller details to all members after the 20 November. Please keep this date free and we look forward to seeing you in Barcelona.

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November 2009




If you wish to know further about Twinning, Claire and Rosemary have had a good response please look at the overview on our website: from all the seafarers’ centres they contacted before the closing date of Thursday 29 October. centre-scheme.html The booklet will show approximately 300 seafarers centres from around the world with basic inINTERNATIONAL SPORTS formation of their services. We would like to thank all those who took the time to reply to us. We are now in the process of preparing the information ready for printing and this will be sent out with ITF’s “Message to Seafarers”, for free distribution to all seafarers. If we have missed you out this time, or you find any errors, please send in your details to for the next publication.

Pekka Karppanen of the Finnish Government Seamen’s Service has now installed the website program on to his computer and is now busy translating articles into English, to be put on to the website. In the meantime, if you have any results of competitions, please send them, if possible with photographs, to Pekka at who will put them on to the Sports website at .

The second two-days’ ship welfare visitors’ course in Nigeria was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in Nigeria between 25-26 September, 2009. Volunteers for the course were drawn from the Nigerian Maritime Administration, The Port Authority and the Mission. The Instructor, Mr Amos H. Kuje emphasised that the course, approved for Port Harcourt, is important considering the overwhelming request of international seafarers visiting the Ports and oil terminals around the Niger Delta area.

Note to all Instructors:
Two-day Courses planned for 2009 include: 21 November — Mumbai, India Instructor—Dr Suresh Idnani 21 November — Gioia Tauro, Italy Instructor– Fr Giacomo Martino 1 December— Helsingsborg, Sweden Instructor—Markus von Martens 11 December— Malta Instructor—Mike Wilson An overview of the courses can be found at :

If you’re planning a course, don’t forget to send in your budget form to the ICSW Office. for approval.

All documentation should be sent to: Rosemary Hendry ICSW, Gresham House 53 Clarendon Road Watford, WD17 1LA United Kingdom who will co-ordinate the issue of badges and certificates.

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We were unable to print Fr Labao’s first email on the disaster as we had already gone to print. Here is his update this month

Update on AOS Philippines
Fr. Victor Labao, National Director, AOS Philippines
This is a copy of an email I sent to friends and AOS contacts three days after the floods in Manila. This should give you an idea of how bad things were at that time. Almost double the amount of rain that Hurricane Katrina brought fell on Metro Manila in 9 hours! This forced authorities to release water from 4 dams which made the waters in 80% of Metro Manila to rise 40 FEET in a matter of 5 minutes. I haven't seen such horrible destruction and painful loss of lives and property even in movies. Even now, 23 days after, some parts of Manila are still under water! In those areas where the water has already gone, thousands of families continue to dwell in crowded evacuation centers because they have lost everything, sometimes not only homes but families as well. It will take a long time for most of the victims in Metro Manila to get back on their feet. What made things worse was that a few days after the Manila floods, 7 major provinces in Northern Luzon were also hit by more floods, not as bad as in Metro Manila but bad enough to destroy homes and infrastructures. Then landslides hit in the Mountain Province (also in Northern Luzon) which buried entire villages and wiped out entire families----so many died they ran out of body bags and coffins to place the dead in. I have been to most of these places and I haven't witnessed worse misery in all my life.. With so many needs everywhere, we have decided that at this point we just have to focus on the needs of seafarers and their families who have been affected. Considering that more than 1/3 of seafarers in the world are Filipinos, these seafarers and their families are everywhere in the Philippines, and up to now we are still at a loss in figuring out how many exactly of our seafarers have been affected by the quick succession of calamities that hit us. Those families with the seafarers still on board are not suffering as badly as those who are still waiting for their next contracts, and, worse, those who have been inactive or retired. The retired and old ones, especially those whose intake of prescribed maintenance medicines (health issues with the heart, hypertension, diabetes, kidney failure, and in two cases, cancer) have been interrupted are our priority. Quite a number have lost homes and properties and now continue to live in crowded evacuation centers where disease is beginning to threaten them---these seafarers' families we do not know what to do with, except that we make sure that they are fed and given medication. Relocation and reconstruction will require resources beyond our capability at the moment. In the meantime, the government agencies concerned cannot seem to agree among themselves as to what to do. Also, government resources are being spread too thin with the affected areas getting wider and the situation getting more desperate. Worse, we have been told that another typhoon (a third) is threatening to hit northern Luzon again. Those of us who have been directly involved in relief, rescue and rehabilitation these past three weeks are exhausted and tired. Some have gotten sick too. But we have to keep going. Most important at this point is our presence among the victims, especially our seafarers and their families.
To see some of the devastation to Manila, go to:

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The 'Deutsche Seemannsmission' is working to assist seafarers affected by piracy. Shortly before his retirement Secretary General, the Reverend Hero Feenders initiated the Deutsche Seemannsmission's response to maritime piracy. The German Seamen's Mission calls its programme: "Piracy: Threat at Sea" (Piraten: Bedrohung auf See) The program includes interviews with seafarers as an introduction to more extensive pastoral care. Speaking at the gathering of the Deutsche Seemannsmission (DSM) in April this year, Feenders said: "We cannot but react when we see the lives of seafarers disrupted (by piracy) while little is done to deal with the trauma Reverend Proske (left) and Reverend Feenders (2nd from left) with past leaders seafarers suffer as a result." of the Deutsche Seemannsmission after the celebratory service held in Bremen Feenders pointed out that the (Germany). present economic climate tends to exacerbate the neglect of the human factor in the maritime industry. In an industry where the economy and profit-making reigns supreme with technological advancement not far behind, the human factor of seafaring has tended to be reduced to merely an expense. He believes that the Mission should act as a reminder to the humanity of seafarers. As humans, seafarers have the right to a good quality of life and to human dignity. The Mission should be the voice of seafarers wherever they are silenced. The Deutsche Seemannsmission said goodbye to Reverend Hero Feenders and hello to the new Secretary General, Reverend Heike Proske during a celebratory service held in Bremen on 26 June 2009. Feenders (62) led the international operations of the Deutsche Seemannsmission for A completely FREE and CONFIDENTIAL service for all the last six years, since 2003. Since October SEAFARERS and the FAMILIES of Seafarers available 2007 until his retirement in June this year he 24 hours a day, 356 days a year in many different lanwas also chairman of the International Chris- guages. tian Maritime Association (ICMA). TEL: +44(0) 20 seafarer +44(0)20 73232737) Heike Proske (47) is a pastor of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia. She is married to a pastor of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Togo, and has two children. For the past eight years, Proske was the port chaplain of the Deutsche Seemannsmission in Lomé, Togo, while also ministering to the German speaking congregations in Togo and Benin. Before working in West Africa, Westphalian-born Proske had served for ten years in a parish in Dortmund. FAX: +44(0)20 32541 022 EMAIL: WEBSITE: TEXT MESSAGE: +44(0)76 2481 8405

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Among acts of heroism to be honored at annual dinner NEW YORK, NY--The officers and crew of the Maersk Alabama, who fought off a pirate attack earlier this year, will be represented by Captain Richard Phillips, Chief Engineer Michael Perry and Bosun William Rios in accepting an Honored Seafarers Plaque at the 40th annual United Seamen’s Service Admiral of the Ocean Sea dinner November 13, 2009. “We are pleased that all three unions aboard the ship will be represented by the vessel department heads at this signature maritime event,“ said Edward R. Morgan, USS President. The unions are the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the Seafarers International Union of North America. “It is a microcosm of the bravery exhibited every day by the American seafarers involved in world commerce and supporting our military,” he added. The Maersk Alabama crew, which fought off a pirate attack while maintaining control of the ship 350 miles off the coast of Somalia and whose captain was taken hostage, April 8-13, are among the officers and crews of five American ships and a seafarer who extinguished a fire on a vessel who will he honored for heroism. The AOTOS honors this year will go to Donald Kurz of Keystone Shipping Co., Ron Widdows of Neptune Orient Lines and the United States Coast Guard, which will receive a special award. The officers and crew of Liberty Sun, who were fired upon and sustained damage from a pirate attack, but were able to ultimately evade the pirates without injury near the Gulf of Aden will also be honored. Others are the officers and crew of New York Waterway rescued 143 passengers from a downed US Airways plane in the Hudson River; the USNS Lewis & Clark eluded a pirate attack by taking evasive action to prevent a successful attack off the coast of Somalia and the officers and crew of MV Midnight Sun fought and extinguished a fire preventing the spread of the fire and the damage of the cargo. The seafarer who will receive a Mariners’ Rosette is Third Mate Victor Manoli III, who fought and extinguished an on board fire preventing a catastrophic incident on the Sealand Quality.

Seafarers’ Welfare and Relevant Maritime Events Planned for November and December 2009
12-13 Nov The Tanker Safety Conference, London 13 Nov 2009 40th Annual Admiral of the Ocean Awards (AOTOS), New York, USA Sightseeing Tour—Singapore Mariner’s Club, Singapore 21/22 Nov ICSW SWVC—Mumbai, India 21/22 Nov ICSW SWVC—Gioia Tauro, Italy 1/2 Dec ICSW SWVC—Helsingborg, Sweden

13 Nov

11/12 Dec ICSW SWVC —Malta 18 Dec Year End Annual Function for Shipping Community, Singapore

The full 2009 diary can be viewed online at:

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Sports Cooperation between the Club and the Odessa Maritime College of Technical Fleet
Odessa Seamen's Club has reached an agreement with the Odessa Maritime College of Technical Fleet about sport cooperation. The first basketball game was organised between the crew of the m/v Lady and the cadets of the college on the 17 October in the playing ground of the college. Both sides really enjoyed the game. In future the Centre plans to have competitions in football, basketball and ping-pong. These games are not only sport activities, they enable seafarers of different nationalities to learn about each other.

During the course of Claire and Rosemary contacting seafarers’ centres for up-to-date information for the Mini Port Directory to be published later this year and distributed free of charge to seafarers, Revd J Simon Dharmaraj , the Chaplain of Tuticorin Seafarers’ Centre, sent us these recent photographs of the Centre.

If you have any news or events at your Seafarers’ Centre you would like us to hear about, please send a few paragraphs with a couple of photographs, if possible, to

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The 17th September 2009 was a remarkable day for the National Seafarers Welfare Board of Nigeria and the Maritime Organizations operating within the Apapa Ports, as the First Drop -in Centre located at the Port Control Tower was officially commissioned and opened to Seafarers. Dignitaries at the occasion included the Chairman of the Trustees of the Welfare Board— Alhaji Ahmed Tijjani Ramalan, Managing Director of the Port Abdul-Salam Mohammed, ITF Seafarers Trust represented by Roy Paul, representatives of the Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Mr Temisan Omatseye, and Apapa Port Manager, Mr The Centre Joshua Asanga. Others included indigenous Ship owners, Master mariners, Shipping Agents, Seafarers associations affiliated to ITF Seafarers Trust, the missions, customs, immigration, the media and a host of others. In his welcoming address, the Executive Chairman of the Board, Otunba Kunle Folarin emphasised that the drop-in centre commissioned was as a result of such efforts through the support of the ITF Seafarers Trust London and similar ones are expected in all the The Centre Manager and the internet facilities Nigerian Ports. Mr Kuje Amos, secretary of the Board and Coordinator of the project reported that the project was as a result of the outcome and recommendations of the feasibility reports carried out by the Board and sponsored by ITF Seafarers Trust on the need that has a direct impact on Seafarers wellbeing in Apapa Ports. Roy Paul was appreciative of the success and reiterated the need to support and sustain the drop in centre for the benefit of visiting Seafarers of different nationalities. The Managing Director of the Ports Authority expressed his joy and promised the Authority’s support to the laudable effort, which is capable of contributing to the hospitality services and relationship of the Apapa Port community with the visiting Seafarers to Nigeria. The centre is equipped with internet facilities, telephones, televisions, drinks, a standby Seafarers bus to transporting Seafarers to and from the centre and managed by a manager with the support of eleven trained and certificated volunteers of the Seafarers Welfare Visitors’ Course. The centre is capable of serving Seafarers within the concessioned areas of the ENL terminal, Greenview development, AP Moller Container terminal, Apapa Bulk terminal, Eco support and Dangote terminal amongst others.
The Secretary with some of the first seafarers to use the facilities

Using the internet

The Drop-in Centre is located inside Apapa Port Control Tower, Bulnose. Request Call Lines: Tel: 0806 061 6034, 0806 704 7860, 0803 718 1154

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Seafarers sweat out inquiry (01 Oct 2009) MARINERS arrested in Norway in a ship grounding will hear in next week whether they can return home, Fairplay was told today. “We want them to stay in Norway until the case is investigated, but they want to go home,” said Siri Carlsen, a lawyer for the prosecution, who was in court yesterday to hear the seafarers’ request to go home. The Panama-registered, COSCO-operated bulker Full City ran aground near Langesund, Norway, in July, causing a spill that tarred a 150km stretch of Norway’s southern coastline. When asked whether the seafarers will be allowed home, Carlsen said: “I don’t know yet, we have to wait for one week.” The two men are staying in a hotel in Brevik. “They are free to go where they want,” said Carlsen, who added: “But we have their passports.” The Norwegian Accident Investigation Board is conducting an inquiry. “We conduct a purely technical investigation, without apportioning blame or liability,” the board’s marine director William Bertheussen told Fairplay. The board’s final report on Full City “will take time”, added Bertheussen, because COSCO “is a big company, and it’s a joint investigation with Panama”. The two officers were originally charged with alleged violations of the Norwegian Ship Safety Act, but local police escalated the charges to cover serious offences against the environment. Shipyard helps abandoned seafarers (07 Oct 2009) RUSSIAN seafarers on the 25-year-old 5,900dwt general cargo ship Southern Pearl NZ are reported to have run seriously short of food and general supplies at Bourgas shipyard in Bulgaria. The vessel arrived in March for repairs, which were completed in July. However, when the ship’s Virgin Islands-based owner, failed to pay the required $750,000 for the work, the Bulgarian authorities seized it. Bourgas yard manager Dimitar Kimryanov said his staff were trying to help the seafarers. Capt Sergei Osipenko said: "The attitude of the [Bulgarian] authorities is good, as we are still in Europe. They are sensitive to the crew’s problems, so we have not had to catch fish from overboard just yet.” USCG could act on access (08 Oct 2009) SEAFARERS hobbled since 9/11 by onerous shore-leave barriers while docked at US ports could soon get relief from the US Coast Guard. As previously reported by Fairplay, the USCG had operated under the belief that it had no legal authority to intervene when seafarers were charged exorbitant fees by terminal operators for shore leave access. It believed doing so would violate private property rights. But a recently completed legal review has determined that the USCG does have the authority to require terminals to provide reasonable access and this issue “may be the subject of a future regulatory change”, stated a just-released USCG internal directive. According to a June 2009 study by the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey, seafarers’ access to shore leave escort services varies greatly from terminal to terminal, with some charging steep escort fees that essentially restrict crew to their ships.The survey also revealed that seafarers are sometimes confused about escort policies, “in some instances leading them to abandon seeking shore leave at all”, the survey noted. Crew abandon stricken China bulker (12 Oct 2009) ALL 28 crew have been rescued from the China Shipping-operated bulker Wan Shou Shan as it took on water in Philippines water yester-

day. The ship later sank off Lubang Island near Oriental Mindoro. The 39,837dwt Handymax was en route from Indonesia to China with a cargo of coal when the engine room flooded. A nearby tanker, reported as Jen Pei, transferred the seafarers to the port of Mariveles in Bataan. The PCG will monitor the ship for any oil spill and ensure it would not be a hazard to navigation. US bars polluting captain (19 Oct 2009) THE master of the bulk carrier Theotokos, Panagiotis Lekkas, has been barred from entering the US for three years. The ban is part of his sentence for violating anti-pollution and invasive species laws. Capt Lekkas was also sentenced in a New Orleans federal court to 10 months’ confinement and a $4,000 fine. In July Lekkas and first officer Charles Posas became the first seafarers convicted under a law designed to stop marine invasive species from entering US waters. "This sentence, including the three-year ban from US territorial waters, sends the message to ship crewmembers and captains that violating environmental and ship safety laws will have consequences," said John Cruden, acting assistant Attorney General at the US Justice Department. Polembros Shipping, Lekkas’ employer, pleaded guilty on 30 September to violating anti-pollution and invasive species laws. The company is scheduled to be sentenced on 9 December. Polembros is run by the Greek shipowner brothers Adam and Spyros Polemis. Spyros Polemis is also the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping. Freed captain wants payout (23 Oct 2009) A CROATIAN master who spent 17 months in a Greek prison will seek compensation from Athens for wrongful imprisonment, his lawyer said today. Captain Kristo Laptalo was arrested in July 2007 after 51.6kg of cocaine were found hidden in a cargo of bananas from Ecuador on his reefer ship Coral Sea. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison but then released in December 2008 after international pressure. Laptalo has always insisted that he was innocent. His lawyer Tvrtko Bilic Eric told Croatia’s newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija today that he would, on his client’s behalf, be claiming damages from Greece within 20 days. “We will consider the documentation regarding the case and will then apply for a peaceful solution to the dispute,” the lawyer said. “We will be seeking compensation from Greece but I cannot say right now how much this will be. I will have to consult with Laptalo first.” He added that a lawsuit would follow if the Greek authorities fail to settle the matter amicably within three months.

Recruitment and Employment Issues
Crews face wage freeze (02 Oct 2009) SEAFARER wages will be frozen until a review of current pay packets is completed during 2010, a forum of shipowners and employment unions decided today in Manila. The International Bargaining Forum agreement covers wages and employment conditions of crew working on flag-of-convenience ships. It is preparing a report on wage increases, due in 2010, but until that’s published any pay changes covered by claims of the International Transport Worker’s Federation and shipping employers will be put on hold. Against the backdrop of a gloomy global economy, JNG and ISEG chairman Captain Takao Manji called the negotiations with the ITF “difficult and at times frustrating” but nonetheless expressed overall satisfac-


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Recruitment and Employment Issues
tion with the outcome. Paddy Crumlin of the ITF conceded that proceedings were “particularly difficult this time”. A more positive outcome for seafarers was the forum’s decision to release “substantial” funds for recruitment drives, training, employment promotion and career development, as of 1 January 2010. The forum also agreed to donate $100,000 from IBF parties to the Filipino disaster relief fund to address tropical storm Ondoy’s damage. Maersk to replace Danish crew (02 Oct 2009) Maersk Line is to replace 170 of its 800 Danish seafarers with cheaper Asian crew, but the company stressed it is seeking voluntary layoffs through a generous package rather than redundancies. The layoffs will “save on labour costs by employing from Asia”, a spokesman at the Copenhagen head office said. Maersk has been hit hard by falling freight rates. In August it posted a loss of $580M for the first half of the year. The Copenhagen Post quoted the Danish Maritime Officers Association as saying the redundancies marked “a dark day for Danish Shipping”. However Denmark’s economic affairs minister Lene Espersen hailed Maersk's move as a positive step forward, saying it made “common sense”, the Post added. “The key here is that it’s gradual,” Maersk's representative explained to Fairplay. Maersk cuts surplus UK officers (05 Oct 2009) MAERSK’S UK operation is to cut 113 officer jobs in the light of vessel lay-ups. Eleven UK-flagged Maersk container ships have been laid up, which means the company has been carrying “surplus officers" for several months,” said Caroline Wolton, a Maersk Company representative in London. Maersk Company – part of the AP MøllerMaersk Group – has met Nautilus, the maritime union representing the employees, to prepare a redundancy package, Wolton added. Volunteers for redundancy will be taken from the pool of officers employed by Maersk Offshore in Guernsey and Bermuda. Maersk Company will no longer automatically employ cadets graduating from its training schemes because “it would be inappropriate to be taking on new employees at this time”, a statement confirmed. There are about 560 British officers currently employed by Maersk. This latest round of redundancies follows APM’s announcement that its container division Maersk Line will replace 170 Danish seafarers with Asians to save costs. Ro-pax crew walk off in protest (12 Oct 09) THE CREW of the small Australian ro-pax vessel Matthew Flinders III walked off the vessel on Friday claiming they are owed A$30,000 ($27,000) in overdue salaries. The seafarers who walked off the ship at the Flinders Island port of Lady Barron refuse to return to the ship until the money is paid into their bank accounts. The stand-off follows a decision by the Tasmanian Ports Corp to refuse to allow the 298gt ship to berth due to non-payment of outstanding port fees. The matter has not been resolved over the weekend, even though operator Southern Shipping, which runs a Tasmanian government-subsidised service to Bass Strait Islands, said the ship would sail. It has been an eventful year for Southern Shipping. The company was the subject of official inquiries into the treatment of its employees; in March the vessel had to be rescued by a tug after grounding outside Grassy Harbour on King Island in the Bass Strait. New crew ends Oz stand-off (19 Oct 2009) A BASS Strait inter-island ro-pax company is expected to resume

Recruitment and Employment Issues
trading today after the owners replaced crew who last week tied the ship up over a back-pay claim. Southern Shipping owner Geoffrey Gabriel said he has recruited 12 seafarers from the Australian mainland to enable the vessel Matthew Flinders III to resume its government-subsidised contract service between Tasmania and Bass Strait islands. Crew members, chasing A$30,000 ($27,500) in allegedly unpaid wages, walked off the ship at Lady Barron on Flinders Island and refused to move it. UK cadets face job squeeze. (21 Oct 2009) UK CADETS today will fear a drop in job prospects, despite earning their first certificates, as shipowners seek to stem losses in the recession. The UK Chamber of Shipping told Fairplay today that it had joined the maritime unions RMT and Nautilus to seek more support from the UK government. But the proposals, first lodged nearly three years ago, are still gathering dust at the transport ministry. The chamber and its partners were trying to ensure that UK officers remain at the upper end of the world competency scale. Cadets graduating each year from UK colleges number about 1,000. Openings aboard British-flagged ships are dropping. AP Møller-Maersk, for example, is removing 15 ships from the UK register with the loss of 113 jobs. And any reduction in the size of the active UK fleet not only cuts the number of training places for cadets, but also reduces employment prospects for those junior deck officers on the first steps of the ladder.

Piracy attack foiled in Singapore Strait (13 Oct 2009) A SUSPECTED act of piracy in the Singapore Strait was foiled today by a vigilant crew. Navigation officers of the watch aboard the Latana - a 6,882dwt products tanker owned by Titan Petrochemicals in Hong Kong, operated and managed by Titan Ocean Pte in Singapore spotted a small boat alongside to starboard. It was crewed by six men, two of whom climbed aboard at the poop deck. The officers sounded the general alarm and mustered the crew. The boarders disembarked and the small vessel departed. No one was hurt in the incident and nothing was stolen. The incident took place outside the eastern Singapore port area, south of Malaysia’s Johor peninsula, south west of Tanjung Ayam. That area appears to be developing into a local piracy hotspot, with tankers being targeted by men in small boats. In September this year, the 70,000dwt tanker Pacific Harmony was targeted by two men in a small boat, and that was followed by the suspicious approach to the 7,000dwt chemical tanker MMM Kingston. Six men, armed with long knives, approached in a speed boat. Those two attacks also took place south west of Tanjung Ayam. It happened previously in August and the Fairplay archive records a further four attacks going back to January this year. Sources: ReCAAP, Sea-Web, Fairplay, Sea-Sentinel Pirates sailing ship to Somalia (20 Oct 2009) PIRATES are taking the hijacked bulker De Xin Hai today toward Somalia, an EU naval spokesman told Fairplay. The ship was hijacked yesterday in the Indian Ocean about 700n miles off the east coast of Somalia and 550 miles northeast of the Seychelles. The bulker is owned by COSCO and operated by COSCO Qingdao. COSCO was unsuccessfully approached today for comment and confirmation by Fairplay. The 76,432dwt vessel has 25 crew members and seven cargo holds and was built in 2008. It has a service speed of

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about 14.5kt. File photos indicate that it sits quite low in the water when fully loaded, which would make it vulnerable to pirate attack methods. A statement from the EU NAVFOR reported that Seychellesbased maritime aircraft had spotted at least four pirates and two skiffs being towed by De Xin Hai. A spokesman from the EU NAVFOR told Fairplay that the vessel is now on a heading that would take it to northwestern Somalia. Two naval sources from separate commands independently told Fairplay it is likely that the increased presence of warships in and near the Gulf of Aden is driving pirates to attack farther afield. “Pirates do not typically attack when warships are in the area. That’s something we’ve seen and we hope [the naval presence] contributes to that. But it’s a big water space, there’s no denying that. They’re attacking literally in the middle of nowhere,” one naval officer said. There have been 155 pirate attacks in near-Somali waters since the start of this year of which 31 have succeeded. Somali pirates now hold 146 hostages in Somalia. IMB sees worse pirate violence (21 Oct 2009) PIRATE attacks against merchant shipping are becoming more frequent and more likely to involve guns, the International Maritime Bureau has warned. The IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre reported 306 piracy incidents in the first nine months of 2009, from 293 in that period of 2008. The number of incidents in which guns rose more than 200%. The increases were directly attributed to piracy off Somalia, where 47 incidents were reported, from a dozen in the same period of the previous year. Also, 100 incidents were reported in the Gulf of Aden from 51. Still, the third quarter of 2009 saw fewer attacks compared with the year-earlier quarter, which the IMB attributed to the monsoon season. Seas raised above 3m are very dangerous to pirates in small skiffs. Somali pirates hijacked 32 vessels in the first nine months of 2009, with 533 crew members taken hostage. Another 85 vessels were fired upon. As of 30 September, four vessels – with more than 80 crew held hostage – were still under negotiation. Piracy decline seen in Asia (23 Oct 2009) PIRACY in Asia is declining, with attacks becoming more widely distributed, the latest report from ReCAAP has indicated. “A total of 69 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in the Asian region during the period January-September 2009,” it said. “Of these, 58 were actual incidents, 11 were attempted incidents.” Noteworthy points included a general drop in both the number and severity of incidents off Indonesia and an improvement off Malaysia. ReCAAP attributed Malaysia’s improved situation to a step-up of activity by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. Still, Malaysian waters remain among the more dangerous areas, with 10 actual pirate attacks and three more attempted between January and September this year. Piracy also appears to be increasing in the South China Sea – there were 10 actual attacks and three more attempts. Analysis shows that the pirates tend to favour the main commercial ships: tankers, box ships and bulkers, with tankers being the moderately preferred target. Further analysis – over Jan-Sept periods in 2005-9 – show that pirates overwhelmingly favour attacking vessels that are either at anchor or are berthed. Bulker hijacked off Seychelles (23 Oct 2009) SOMALI pirates were repulsed in one attack, but other attackers succeeded in a second this morning. Pirates opened fire on the

31,000dwt Italian-flag ro-ro Jolly Rosso this morning, about 400 miles east of Mombasa. But the vessel’s crew took evasive action and escaped. At about the same time, 150 miles east of the Seychelles, the 22,000dwt Panama-flag bulk carrier Al Khaliq was reported as being under attack. According to EU NAVFOR, maritime patrol aircraft confirmed “the hijack of MV Al Khaliq”, with six pirates on board and two attack skiffs in tow.“The mother skiff has already been taken on board with a crane,” the EU naval force added. Meanwhile, EU NAVFOR also said the hijacked bulker De Xin Hai has been confirmed to be near Hobyo on the coast of Somalia.It is not yet known if the pirates have contacted the owners and made their demands known. The EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft monitored the ship in the area of the hijacking.

UK chopper saves mariner (26 Oct 2009) A RUSSIAN seafarer has been saved from the Persian Gulf by a military helicopter on anti-piracy duty. The crewman, 30, apparently tripped and fell through the railings of a Cypriot chemical tanker at about 0215 Bahrain time on 25 October. He was in the water for more than five and a half hours, with four of those hours in darkness. But the water was warm at 30.5 Celsius, so he survived until being winched aboard by the crew of a Lynx helicopter, affiliated to the British naval vessel HMS Kent. “Had he been in need of further medical facilities, he would have been flown to Bahrain,” a spokesman for the Combined Maritime Forces told Fairplay today. The seafarer was returned to his vessel, Peterpaul, a 1998-built, 36,000dwt chemical tanker. According to Sea-Web, it is owned by Unicredit Leasing and operated by Interorient Marine of Cyprus, but it does not appear on Interorient’s fleet list; Fairplay made further inquiries but was unable to obtain comment from Interorient. “Safety of life at sea is something close to every mariner's heart," commented Cmdr. Simon Hopper, Kent's commander. "As sailors, we hope that we will never be a position to need assistance. I'm delighted that Kent was able to respond to the distress of another mariner and save a life." Third man dies of poisoning (30 Oct 2009) A THIRD seafarer from a Russian-owned cargo vessel died today at a hospital in South Africa. Two days ago, two shipmates were found dead on board the 17,565dwt Atlantic Eland, which was docked in the eastern port of Richards Bay. One was the boatswain, a Russian national, and the other was a Ukrainian cook. The Russian crewman who died today was also a victim of alcohol poisoning, the hospital told reporters, although food poisoning was earlier reported. The Maltese-flagged Atlantic Eland’s crew totals 28 people. Its owner is listed as Atlantic Ro-Ro Carriers.

The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect those of the ICSW and its members.

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